Many happy returns of the day Kishore da

Kishore Kumar – need I give an introduction? If one of the most vibrant, albeit eccentric personalities the Hindi film industry has ever seen were still alive, he would celebrate his 81st birthday today. I didn’t prepare to write anything in particular about the man but I do want to acknowledge that I love Kishore da. 🙂

Kishore Kumar – Kishore means a young boy and Kumar means a prince – and that’s precisely what he was. Forever young at heart and a prince who won the adoration of everyone who listened to his voice or saw him onscreen.

I may be wrong but I think he is the only one in the industry who is the king of all trades – singing, dancing (ok not dancing so much maybe), acting, directing – is there anything he couldn’t do? (oh sorry, the dancing thing.)

I was reading about KK online and I found an article on him with an interesting anecdote narrated by his son, Amit:

An interesting tale about Kishore pertains to the cameo he was to do in his brother Ashok Kumar’s production Ziddi (1948), which marked Kishore’s debut as playback singer under Khemchand Prakash. ‘Dada Moni [Ashok Kumar] wanted Baba to do the cameo of a gardener who just abused the hero Dev [Anand] in a scene. Baba reluctantly agreed and when the camera rolled, used unprintable words instead of the abuses in the script!

“Dada Moni frantically yelled ‘Cut!’, but I believe that this incident had a big role to play in the bond that Baba shared with Dev Anand. For Dev Anand was the only star for whom he would sing playback when Baba himself was a big star.”

You can read the complete article here

If he were alive today, he would probably say, “May the madness never end!”


Paanch Rupaiya Barah Aana…What’s the story behind this song?

I think I can safely say that we owed money to our canteen walas at some or the other point in time. In school or in college when dad either didn’t give enough pocket money, or enough was just never enough.

It is said that when Chalti Ka Naam Gaadi was filmed, the inspiration for the song paanch rupaiyya bara aana came from Kishore Kumar himself. Apparently, back in college, he owed his canteen wala Rs 5.75.

Another interesting bit – Everyone who has tried to evade taxes would empathize with Kumar on this one. Chalti Ka Naam Gaadi was made with expectations that it would lose miserably. Why? Simple! If the movie flopped, he could show it as a loss of income, and thus avoid paying taxes! Makes you wonder why more than half the movies flop today, doesn’t it? Kumar went one step ahead – he plagiarised (the ultimate sin we journalists can commit) two of the songs in the movie, both lifted from two different English films. “Hum the who thi” from The Water Mellon Song and “Ek ladki bheegi bhaagi si” from 16 Tons of the album 16 Tons of Tennessee Ernie.

But the twist is that not only did the film not flop, it went on to become a roaring success. Poor Kumar saab. Getting a hit and not being able to afford it.

And of course, who can forget the lovely Madhubala. Considered one of the most beautiful women of her time, “Haal kaisa hai janab ka” was where the romance between Kumar and her began, at the time that Kumar was still married!

Oh, and guess what? Chalti Ka Naam Gaadi was to be followed by a movie called Rukti Ka Naam Khatara. We all can guess what fate that one met. I just dug up another piece of funny trivia: It seems KK directed another film called Badhti ka naam daadi to follow CKNG! Funny man, indeed.